I recently had the opportunity to speak to the players on the Green Bay Packers about how they handle money. Even though these guys have stratospheric salaries, it turns out they have a lot of the same problems handling that money as normal Earthlings do!
Special thanks to my WHBY affiliate in Appleton, Wisc., for having me out to talk to the players during a 90-minute session.
During the course of the talk, I learned that the rookies make $375,000 annually, while top veterans can earn $7 or $8 million.
The thing is, in professional sports somewhere close to 80% of athletes end up broke within a few years of finishing their playing days. So whenever I talk to sports figures, I always give them the “save more and spend less than you make” routine.
If these guys don’t learn young, they’ll end up broke. The youngest players have the most to benefit. If they would listen and really save money before they get their second contract — which is when the really big money comes — they would never have to worry about money for the rest of their lives.
But that’s more the exception than the rule for people from all walks of life, including football players, and especially those who are under 30! It was the older players who know they only have a few games or seasons left in them that were laser-focused on my message. They wanted to know how to save more money and what to do with the money they saved.
For all of us, the lesson is so true. The earlier you start saving, the easier things are down the road. Our work life typically goes on to our 60s or longer, unlike football players. So the more we save early on, the more time that money has to grow.
Editor’s note: This segement originally aired Oct. 28, 2011